As one can see, lately guitar based bands are trying their hardest NOT to sound like a guitar based band? Gypsy folk, Italian funeral, Gospel and African folk are all sneaking, snaking and enmeshing themselves into more and more bands. The result? A group of innovative and distinct indie bands, yeah this always existed ( i mean post punk thrived on African influences) but now it's the media (and me I guess) are picking up on it.
But in a climate of Yeasayers,Beiruts, Gogol Bordellos and Vampire Weekends where does that leave the honest to gosh straight on guitar fuelled independent music? has the cross pollination made it to plain for our now refined ears?
Enter Pete and the Pirates
This Reading group have made one of the most traditional albums I've heard so far. Guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Verses, Choruses, Riffs and (albeit tiny) Solos. Yet it is one of the most arresting guitar rock album i've heard in these past two months and I have a feeling that this opinion will be with me long after 2008.
So what's the gimmick? what makes this album so great? why have I still jumped up and down and played air guitar even after listen number 50?
The trick is that there aren't any gimmicks. It's purely honest music. It's skeletal, rough and ready for action. A rollercoaster ride of instantly memorable tunes and the odd slow song to remind us that this band can pull off something sentimental. There's charm by the bucketload.
'Little Death's' main calling card starts very early with the near anthemic 'Come on Feet' The song lurches into action and does not even stop for a breath. Handclaps and a terrace chanting chorus. It's grand without the stench of grandeur and this ultimately is 'Little Death's' feel.Other tracks like 'Knots', 'Mr.Understanding' and closer 'Bright Lights' all display this sense of urgency. Pete and the Pirates are here to shake your ears and say 'drop everything, listen to us NOW and freak out'.
Compeltely unpolished, scruffy 'Little Death' provides a very healthy alternative to the polished complicated music that has been cropping up and we all know that we all need some type of breather. Pete and the Pirates are here to provide that.